Miners’ Institutes and Welfare Halls were a focus for the educational, cultural and social life of coalfield communities
Institutes were funded by contributions from miners’ wages, often with support from coalowners and the Miners’ Welfare Fund.
Institute libraries and reading rooms helped workers educate themselves. F G Rees, Director of Education for Glamorgan, wrote in the Ocean and National Magazine:
It is the business of Mining Institutes… to train the minds of those who attend them and give them a liberal education as well as to fit them for life
They catered for recreational activities, with billiards rooms, public halls and cinemas.
By the 1930s there were over 100 institutes in south Wales. They became the heart of the community.